Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin July 2022

Kew Gardens, West London

We are reflecting on the theme of summer holidays for this month’s E-Bulletin.

Every year the first weekend of the school summer holidays, 22nd-24th July, witnesses the annual National Justice and Peace Network conference in Swanwick, Derbyshire, at the beautiful The Hayes Conference Centre. Fr Dominic and Colette will be attending and would love to see you there. It is always a great event with speakers, workshops, prayer, music, social time and networking to refresh and re-inspire your enthusiasm for peace and justice in our complicated world. Everybody is welcome and there are special programmes for children and teenagers, so the whole family can come along.

22nd-24th July – National Justice and Peace Network Annual Conference at Swanwick

Or perhaps you would like to join us in Kew Gardens on Tuesday, 9th August? More details are in the newsletter and on the website:

9th August – Kew Gardens Outing

If you are the festival-going type, you might like to consider Greenbelt, the ecumenical Christian festival at Boughton House, near Kettering, 26th-29th August, the bank holiday weekend. Colette is a regular attendee and happy to tell you all about it if you give her a call!

26th-29th August – Greenbelt Festival, Boughton House

There are the many other events to note across the usual array of issues. Please note that there is no E-Bulletin in August so the deadline for items for the September E-Bulletin is 30th August.

Join us at Kew Gardens on 9th August, 11am, to visit the Food Forever Festival

Kew Gardens Outing to the ‘Food Forever Festival’ with Westminster Justice & Peace, CAFOD and Caritas

This summer holidays, why not join us for a visit to see the world-famous botanical gardens and explore Kew’s exhibition on the future of sustainable food?

Protecting sustainable food sources is a major theme of social justice that is of great concern to CAFOD, Caritas and Justice & Peace.

Tony Sheen (CAFOD Westminster Community Participation Co-ordinator), Niki Psarias (Caritas Westminster Lead for Food) and Colette Joyce (Westminster Justice and Peace Co-ordinator) are coming together to lead this day out, enjoying the beauty of nature at Kew Gardens while learning more about this essential topic.

We will meet together inside the Gardens at the Victoria Gate entrance at 11am for an introduction to the festival and again in the same place at 4pm for a time of sharing and a closing prayer.

You are welcome to walk with us or to explore the gardens at your own pace.

There will be the option to bring a picnic to eat together (weather permitting!) or you can go independently to any of Kew’s restaurants or food outlets.

You will need to book your own tickets. We recommend doing this at the earliest opportunity, booking in advance on the Kew website, to ensure your place, although tickets can also be purchased on the day. Tickets vary in price depending on number and type bought. A standard single adult ticket booked online in advance costs £15.

Book Tickets on the Kew Gardens website

Note that there are special rates for children, families, young people, students, visitors with disabilities and senior citizens 65+

There is a special price of £1 for people on Universal Credit, Pension Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

For more information, or to let us know you will be joining us, please contact Colette Joyce colettejoyce@rcdow.org.uk   or call her on 07593 434 905

Kew Gardens Food Forever Festival

Refugee Week Report 2022, 20th-26th June

Asylum Seeker Maimuna Jawo, speaking at the Stories of Welcome event Monday 20th June 2022

Stories of Welcome 20th June, 2022

This Refugee Week (20-26 June 2022), Caritas Westminster alongside the Anglican Dioceses of Westminster and Southwark wanted to share some ‘Stories of Welcome’ from communities across the London and east Surrey. Resources, including five videos, a booklet and an infographic were launched on World Refugee Day. Each account detailed demonstrates how simple a welcome can be, which is in contrast with the transformative power of the encounter that the welcome enables.  

The ecumenical launch event, held at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, opened with a prayer from the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Dr Joanne Grenfell Woolway. Those assembled heard key-note speeches from the Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, the Rt Revd Paul McAleenan, Maimuna Jawo and the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun.  

Read Rosa Lewis’ blog of the launch event here – Stories of Infinite Worth and Dignity

Bishop Paul’s Address

Watch the videos:

Revd Dr Sam Well’s Lecture, London Churches Refugee Fund 20th June, 2022

Click here for the link to Reverend Sam Well’s talk on ‘So Many Kinds of Wrong’ concerning the Rwandan refugee crisis (held Monday 20th June at 7.00pm, St Martins-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.)

Westminster Social Justice and Peace Forum

Save the Date! The next Forum will be addressing contribution made by the Catholic Church to meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers. All are welcome to join us.

Saturday, 17th September, 10am – 1pm
‘To Accompany Refugees’
St Aloysius Church Hall, 20 Phoenix Road, NW1 1TA

Hosted by Bishop Paul McAleenan and Bishop Nicholas Hudson

Register with Eventbrite

Mass for the Season of Creation – Saturday 3rd September 2022, Farm Street Church

You are invited to join the Southern Dioceses Environment Network for a Mass to celebrate the opening of the Season of Creation.

The Mass will be held at Farm Street Church, W1K 3AH (nearest tube – Green Park) and the celebrant will be Fr Dominic Robinson SJ.

The Southern Dioceses Environment Network was launched in January 2022 and organises monthly online meetings to support Catholics and our friends who share a concern for the care of creation. Anyone can join and participants include CAFOD volunteers to Diocesan staff, clergy, religious, parishioners, Laudato Si’ Animators and Christian Climate Action activists.

We are drawn from the Dioceses of Arundel & Brighton, Brentwood, Clifton, East Anglia, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southwark and Westminster, and also collaborate with the Northern Dioceses Environment Group.

This Mass will be our first in-person event and we warmly invite people who have not been able to attend the meetings, but support our aims, to come along and join us in prayer and networking. Children and families welcome.

There will be refreshments in the Arrupe Hall afterwards, along with displays of work for the environment being carried out around the dioceses.

For more details please contact Colette Joyce on 07593 434905 or email colettejoyce@rcdow.org.uk

Southern Dioceses Environment Network

Support Notre Dame Refugee Centre on the London Legal Walk

The London Legal Walk supports over 100 organisations in London and the South East each year, helping them provide more free and pro bono legal advice.

Barbara Kentish, well known to Westminster Justice & Peace as our former Fieldworker, is one of the trustees of the Notre Dame Refugee Centre and she will be joining other walkers from the Centre on Tuesday 28th June to raise funds to maintain their frontline free legal advice services.

They are walking with the Lord Chief Justice and thousands of lawyers to raise funds to ensure that there is access to justice for all.

The team is: Shaku Williams, Ines Ignasse, Alice Chalkey, Alice Goeh, Brian Mitchell, Pascal Boidin, Richard Kuhn, Anne-Lise Gaillac, Benjamin Dieu, Elliot Dieu, Barbara Kentish, Vera O’Shea, Viv Parker, Rebecca Kirk, Philippe Lespinard, Hubert Bonnet-Eymard, Etienne Rougier, Nadine Carle-Edgar, Violaine Oustry and Elizabeth Millar.

Barbara writes:

Our centre, which opens onto Leicester Square, was started by the French Church 20 years ago and does a great job in getting refugees their papers.  The advice team somehow cuts through lots of Home Office red tape to get Leave to Remain for 100s of people.  As one person said, there are lots of small charities offering help to refugees, but not if they are in Rwanda!

To support Barbara and the Notre Dame Refugee Centre Team visit
London Legal Support Trust – London Legal Walk 2022

Notre Dame Refugee Centre

Season of Creation Webinar, Thursday 23 June 2022, 2pm

Get ready for the Season of Creation, 1st September – 4th October, with this webinar from the international Laudato Si’ Movement to launch the Season of Creation Celebration Guide.

This year’s theme is ‘Listen to the Voice of Creation’

Speakers:

  • Bino Makhalanyane, Youth Coordinator at Anglican Environmental Network of Southern Africa
  • Dr Paulo Ueti, Theological Advisor and Regional Facilitator for Latin America of the Anglican Alliance
  • Christina Leaño, Associate Director of Laudato Si’ Movement
  • Rachel Mander, Strategy Development Officer at A Rocha International
  • Patricia Mungcal, Co-Chair for ACT Alliance Community of Practice for Youth Participation
  • Rev Sikawu Makubalo, General Secretary for Church Unity Commission
  • Rev Dr Chad Rimmer, Program Executive for Identity, Communion and Formation for the Lutheran World Federation
  • Rev Rachel Mash, Provincial Canon for the Environment in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
  • Suzi Moreira, Coordinator of Eco-Conversion Programs for Laudato Si’ Movement

Laudato Si’ Movement

Season of Creation Website

Prayers of Intercession for Refugee Week

These prayers were said today outside the Home Office on Marsham Street, London.

  1. We pray for the thousands of men, women and children, known and unknown, who set out to seek safety and a better life in Europe, but who were drowned in the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea or the English Channel, or whose lives were cut short when they met with hostility or violence.   O Lord hear our prayerResponse        And let our cry come unto you
  2. We pray  today for all those fleeing the brutal war on Ukrainian cities.  May they speedily find  places of safety and security in our country and in our hearts.   O Lord hear our prayer, Response        And let our cry come unto you
  3. We pray for all those seeking sanctuary in the UK who depend on the UK adhering to the European Convention for Human Rights, and pray that our government will respect the agreement that we helped to draw up over 70 years ago.  O Lord hear our prayer   Response        And let our cry come unto you.  
  4. We pray for the former residents of the camp in Calais and for those who remain there. We pray for protection of all people in refugee camps and the communities they build.   O Lord hear our prayer  Response        And let our cry come unto you
  5. We pray for the refugees arriving in the UK and ending up in the former military barracks and camps, or those placed in detention at arrival. We pray for their mental and physical wellbeing and for their right to decent housing. O Lord hear our prayer    Response  
  6. For the comfort of all who have lost loved ones in the course of fleeing from their home country, or who have had to experience the trauma of watching others die.  O Lord hear our prayer   Response     
  7. For a resolution to the conflicts which are forcing so many to flee in desperation and we pray in particular for the people of Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, Congo and Sudan.  O Lord hear our prayer Response
  8. We pray for the staff and volunteers from the Rescue Ships, and the Alarm Phone. We think on the people serving on board of the See Eye, the reception teams on the Greek and Italian islands.    O Lord hear our prayer Response       
  9. We pray for the continuing humanity of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the UK Border Force, who refuse, despite government orders, to ignore the plight of those at risk of drowning at sea.    O Lord hear our prayer Response
  10. We pray for the continuing humanity of the Civil Service Unions, who resist the proposals to send those seeking sanctuary to holding centres in Rwanda. O Lord hear our prayer,  Response
  11. For an end to the arms trade and militarism that aggravate and sponsor these conflicts.  O Lord hear our prayer   Response       
  12. For an end to the economic exploitation of people, and the earth which causes poverty and displacementOh Lord hear our prayer  Response  
  13. For the strength and resilience of all citizens to resist unjust immigration laws and to support one another in this struggle.  Oh Lord hear our prayer  Response  
  14. In thanksgiving for the efforts of all who are working to rescue and welcome refugees arriving in Europe and for all who struggle for justice.  Oh Lord hear our prayer   Response  

Next Prayer Vigil

Monday 18th July, 12.30-1.30pm: Prayer Vigil outside the Home Office with Westminster Justice & Peace and London Catholic Worker to pray for migrants seeking safe passage to the UK. Contact Barbara Kentish (J & P) barbarakentish@talktalk.net 

Join the TUC ‘We Demand Better’ Demo, Saturday 18th June, 10.30am, Central London

Stop the Rwanda plan – All Refugees Welcome

As members of the Together With Refugees coalition, Westminster Justice & Peace and Caritas Westminster invite you to join us at Saturday’s demonstration ‘We Demand Better’ organised by the TUC.

Coalition member, Care for Calais, along with Stand Up To Racism, are leading a refugee bloc in the TUC demo about the Cost-of-Living Crisis in London, on Saturday 18 June 2022.

When there are social problems in the UK refugees and migrants are often blamed. As the Cost of Living Crisis worsens the government is using racism as way to divide and rule people. We say #AllRefugeesWelcome – we won’t let racism divide us. We need unity in the face of the Cost of Living Crisis. The TUC’s demo offers a great opportunity to show solidarity and unity and promote the rights of refugees.  

Let us know if you would like to join us in the ‘Stop the Rwanda plan – All Refugees Welcome’ bloc by emailing Colette Joyce at colettejoyce@rcdow.org.uk or call 07593 434905.

Gather at 10.30am, Portland Place, London, W1B 1, United Kingdom

More event details

Refugee Week 20th-26th June 2022 – Theme ‘Healing’

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. This annual event founded in 1998 is held every year around the UN World Refugee Day on 20th June and is a growing global movement.

It will involve a dynamic programme of arts, culture, sports, educational, media and creative campaigns. Refugee Week aims for UK refugees from different backgrounds to connect and share their experiences, perspectives and creative work. Hopefully this will encourage understanding of why people are displaced and the challenges they face when seeking safety. Refugee Week’s vision is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution.  This reflects our values that everyone has a right to be safe, and treated fairly with respect and kindness.

Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, and anyone can get involved by holding or joining an event or activity. The events will happen in a variety of spaces ranging from arts festivals, exhibitions and film screenings and museum tours to football tournaments, public talks and activities in schools.

Christian events in London include:

20th June, 12.30-1.30pm: Prayer Vigil outside the Home Office with Westminster Justice & Peace and London Catholic Worker to pray for migrants seeking safe passage to the UK. Contact Barbara Kentish (J & P) barbarakentish@talktalk.net 

20th June, 7pm: London Churches Refugee Fund Annual Speaker Meeting. Revd Dr Sam Wells ‘So Many Kinds of Wrong: A Theological Response to the Rwanda Asylum Initiative‘ – St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JH. Further details www.lcrf.org.uk  Email info@lcrf.org.uk

20th June 2022, 6-8pm: Stories of Welcome. Farm Street Church (‘Arrupe Hall’), 114 Mount Street, London, W1K 3AH. Share and celebrate the stories of how our London churches and parishes are welcoming asylum seekers, migrants and refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Ukraine, Hong Kong and so many other countries.

Speakers will include:

The Right Revd Paul McAleenan (Diocese of Westminster and Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees)

The Right Revd Joanne Grenfell (Bishop of Stepney, Diocese of London)

The Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun

This event is hosted jointly by the Compassionate Communities Team (Diocese of London), the Diocese of Southwark and Caritas Westminster.

Refugee Week Website

Click here for the Vatican Document: The Love of Christ Towards Migrants

Prayer for Refugee Week:

God creator of all,
For people who are displaced,
may they find a safe refuge.

For people who have lost control of their lives,
may they know a sure foundation.

For people who live in fear,
may they be given a strong fortress.

For people who are disillusioned,
may they have hope in a future.

Loving father in times of crisis, sorrow and uncertainty
we ask that you draw near.

Amen

London climate action week, 25th-3rd July 2022

London Climate Action week 2022, the largest independent climate change event in Europe, will take place from 25th June to 3rd July and focuses on delivering the promises from COP-26 in this post pandemic era.  It will involve a mixture of in-person and virtual events which anyone is free to host and hopes to embrace the diversity of London’s experience and heritage. Events will be a mixture of panel discussions, digital campaigns, announcements from business leaders and much more.

This annual event aims to harness the power of London for global Climate action to help us move towards a net-zero future. It will feature many world leading climate professionals and communities across London and beyond with the hope of finding practical solutions to the climate crisis.

As we recover from COVID-19, we need to embrace a new normal that puts tackling the climate emergency at the heart of everything we do.

To find out more click here